Yellow Boats are Giving Kids in the Philippines new Hope for Education
“It’s really hard,” said elementary school student Nadzra Mutalib, referring to the process of getting to school. Nadzra lives in Layag-Layag, a mangrove village off the coast of Zamboanga.
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands with a population of over 98 million.
The problem of getting to school revolves around the lack of effective transportation.
Like Nadzra, hundreds of other children face a difficulty many can’t even imagine going through. These children have to swim through the rivers to get to school, often getting hurt with sharp coral and rocks and the fact that they end up soaking wet.
This situation was enough for Jay Jaboneta and Doc Antom Lim to start a non-profit organization which helps children get to school safe and dry. The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation provides boats to transport as many children as possible to their school.
An amazing number of 900 yellow boats have been provided since 2010, helping children of 70 communities so far.
“Before, students were always late or about to drop out,” says Angelita Chang, Principal at Lakewood Central School in Zamboanga. “When Yellow Boats came, I noticed dropouts reduced to two or three pupils.”
The effort to help hasn’t stopped there. The foundation teamed up with local NGO’s to provide medical and dental missions, build day care centers, classrooms, schools, provide school supplies and scholarships.
“We have to help make it easier for them to go, stay and finish school. Only when they finish school will things get better,” said Doc Antom Lim, co-founder of the foundation.
“When we were gifted the yellow boat, we were also gifted a new hope,” added elementary student Nadzra.